By Marc Livitz: Pablo “El Sepulturero” Munguia made the first defense of his Mexican Welterweight title a successful one tonight in a rough, yet one-sided battle versus Juan Rivera at the Foro Polanco in Mexico City, DF, MEX.
Munguia captured the vacant title in September of this year following a unanimous decision victory over Alfredo Chavez. Juan Rivera sought to use his noticeable height advantage over Munguia and establish his jab early on in the bout. The opening round was perhaps the only period of time where neither fighter distinguished himself in any clear fashion.
By round two, Munguia appeared to understand that he needed to keep the action close to him so that he could negate the the distance between the two that Rivera had created. Each fighter exhibited fine footwork as well as effective jabbing. Whenever the two would get close, they would each throw quick combinations and short uppercuts.
Pablo Munguia became the aggressor after round two. He began top stalk Rivera as well as turn his body inward and lead with his shoulder. Round three was Munguia’s statement to the Mexico City crowd that the smaller fighter would give them a good performance. The first knockdown occurred in round four. Pablo Munguia caught Juan Rivera with a short overhand right which dropped the Aguascalientes, MX fighter. Subsequent replays however clearly showed that Munguia had tagged RIvera after he had already slipped and was going to ground.
Munguia continued to not allow Rivera to use his height and reach advantage in round five. He continued to fight from various angles and led with his bullish charge towards Rivera’s chest. Munguia was able to land clean uppercuts and body shots due to Rivera’s habit of squaring up
directly in front of him.
Round six saw fatigue begin to set in with both combatants. Munguia was beginning to tire from throwing his body into the majority of his shots, while Rivera seemed to “counterpunch” himself out of contention. In round seven, Pablo Munguia changed his tactics and allowed himself to catch his breath by way of throwing fewer shots and by effectively timing them as well. Juan Rivera played into this perfectly as he leaned into Munguia. He seemed to understand that he could no longer fight from a distance and use his jab, which played right into Munguia’s hands. Rounds eight and nine saw the fighters battle mostly in the center of the ring. Both were thoroughly gassed, but this was to be Munguia’s night. The Mexico City fighter excited his home crowd as he landed punch after punch to Rivera’s head and body.
The referee stepped in and stopped the contest at the :54 point of round nine. TKO victory for Pablo Munguia, who improved to 13(10)-3(2). Juan Rivera dropped to 9(6)-6(3).
November 26, 2011